It’s Time to Clear the Clutter

I have long advocated for focus and simplicity.

The desire to purge that which is no longer useful (thank you Marie Condo) has led to evaluation and action across every area of my life. Does this bring me joy? Does this still serve me? How can I continue to decrease the clutter in my life? What is holding me back from being my best?

These questions, while seemingly simple when it comes to sweaters and shoes, can be painfully challenging when it comes to other areas of your life. Self. Relationships. Work. etc.

For many years, I tapped into one of my biggest saboteurs, Avoidance, and just kept powering through. Moving at great speeds trying to ignore the tough questions, the difficult choices.

More insight. More knowledge. More accomplishment. More. More. More. Move. Move. Move.

It took many years and a very special group of people to force the first, dramatic, and painful pause. The Great Pause forced me to step into vulnerability and evaluate everything in order to identify the true misalignment. To get quiet. To look around and get very, very curious about who I was and what was no longer serving me. To extend my sweater and shoes practice to my LIFE.

Today, the practice of focus and simplify is routine. I am far better at being vulnerable and recognizing the “symptoms” of overwhelm and misalignment. Today, I am able to begin the process of getting curious much more quickly.

Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, I try to force a pause, look around and ask myself the same questions. What is currently not bringing me joy? What is no longer serving me? What can I do to decrease the clutter/noise in my life to drive great focus? What are the voices in my head telling me that are true and helpful? What are the things that are untrue or unhelpful?

I have noticed a pattern. When things are hectic and I lose my daily focus on slowing down, breathing, and mindful practices, the forced pause is triggered. My nervous system screams for a time out. A breath. A pause. A recalibration. Where are we at on our values? Are we living our strengths? Are we pursuing our passions and giving our gifts? I ask myself the questions that help me understand where I am adrift.

And then we move back towards focus and simplicity. I gain clarity on where there is opportunity to simplify. To remove the fluff and noise to come back to the essence of my work. Of my impact. Of what is truly important in my day. I focus. Just because I can do something doesn’t mean I should. I say no to the things that are off focus so I can say yes to the things that feed my north star.

When is the last time you took the time to simplify and refocus? How might you and/or your team benefit from a practice of evaluating where you might have lost your way? Have you taken on things that don’t serve or no longer serve your true purpose and are now causing clutter and distraction? As we look towards spring cleaning, I encourage you to take a step towards a more holistic view, something bigger and more meaningful than just your closets. How might you get curious and “spring clean” your life?

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